Motor Coach Industries (MCI) placed a compressed natural gas (CNG)-equipped Commuter Coach model on a tour to demonstrate the benefits of CNG to transit executives nationwide. The manufacturer is borrowing the coach from longtime customer NJ Transit to make the trip.
The touring model comes complete with a new Cummins CNG-powered engine that will allow transit agencies all over the country a chance to see what the latest generation of CNG power can do.
“Our goal is to gauge market receptivity,” said Michael Melaniphy, vice president of MCI’s Public Sector. “Potentially, a CNG-powered MCI Commuter Coach model could be useful to agencies serving long-distance commuters in communities where CNG is required.” Based on the D-Series model, the MCI Commuter Coach features many passenger-pleasing amenities and office-like digital options for a comfortable and productive ride.
MCI delivered 77 CNG-equipped Commuter Coaches for NJ Transit in 1999 and 2000 – today, those original coaches are still in operation with more than 500,000 miles on the odometer.
The Commuter Coach on the tour has a Cummins ISL G 8.3 -liter, 320hp engine specifically configured to operate on CNG that will be tested as a prototype for a potential future model equipped with a 2010 EPA standards compliant 8.9-liter engine. The tour began in Texas and has planned stops in Arizona, Southern California, Washington State and Idaho.
Transit agencies are invited to contact Tom.Wagner@mcicoach.com to schedule an appointment.